Tag Archives: Azure

#Build 2017 – some exciting things

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I just finished watching the #Build 2017 keynote and I am really excited by all the new things that were announced in this occasion. There were so many cool things that at the end I started to forget those mentioned at the beginning. That’s why I thought of writing a //build 2017 keynote summary, to serve more for me remembering all the things that I need to keep up with during the next year.

One of the coolest thing is the new Azure Cosmos DB offering. Azure Cosmos DB is Microsoft’s globally distributed, multi-model database. With the click of a button, Azure Cosmos DB enables you to elastically and independently scale throughput and storage across any number of Azure’s geographic regions. It offers throughput, latency, availability, and consistency guarantees with comprehensive service level agreements (SLAs), something no other database service can offer. What this means is that you have a database where you can store documents, tables, graph data and many more in the same place and use really any DB API to access all the data in nearly real time.

Just to stay in the same database area, the announcement of Azure database for MySql was also a nice surprise. Basically, you get a MySql database as a service, without the need to take care of patching infrastructures and so on.

Further, Microsoft announced at //build 2017 the new Azure IoT Edge, a technology that’s meant to extend “the intelligence — and other benefits — of cloud computing to edge devices.” It’s a cross-platform run time that runs on both Windows and Linux, and it will work on devices that are smaller than a Raspberry Pi. This will solve a lot of problems in IoT scenarios with really small devices, since this new features enables a more straight forward communication between Azure and devices.

Next, the announcement of the new Azure Portal App for iOs and Android, together with the built in full featured Bash shell in the Azure Portal was also a very intriguing announcement. First, the mobile app is not available on Windows 10 mobile devices (I know, there are few of them out there, but still….) and second, the first integrated shell is a Bash shell, not PowerShell (PowerShell will come “some time” in the future). On the other side, this underlines once more the heavy open source approach that Microsoft is showing during last years.

The remote debugging of production web apps using Visual Studio 2017 without any downtime was also a great thing to watch.

Let’s go to the AI part. I was already fairly familiar with Microsoft Cognitive Services, but the announcement of the custom vision API was really exciting. This enables developers to easily train their own vision machine learning models, providing the necessary training data. This really starts to look more and more like democratized AI, which should enable developers to build more and more intelligent applications.

The PowerPoint Translator was also a fairly cool demo, but for me it was not necessarily something new since exactly the same thing was showcased two years ago at the Build conference, but back then it was a Skype extension, called Skype translator. These two are fairly similar.

A final observation: almost all demos were made from MacOS laptops and iPhones.

Watching the //Build 2017 keynote was a very good time investment. I still dream to attend this conference in person at some time 🙂

New Microsoft datacenters in Germany officially announced

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Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, just announced in Berlin the new cloud strategy for Germany which includes two new Microsoft datacenters, one located in Frankfurt and the second located in Magdeburg. All major Microsoft Cloud services will be offered from the new facilities, including Azure, Office 365 and CRM Online. The new Microsoft datacenters in Germany will most probably go live in the second half of 2016.

The new Microsoft datacenters in Germany underline once more Microsoft’s commitment to data security and data privacy, making sure that all Microsoft cloud customers are able to meet their specific compliance and regulatory needs. The two datacenters are connected through a private network, so that the data flow is completely isolated from the internet.

Further, German and European customers will be able to choose between a global Microsoft cloud service and a local cloud service. If customers opt for the local cloud service, none of the data or metadata will be stored outside Europe. To make everything as transparent as possible, the German company T-Systems will act as a data trustee under German law. What this means is that T-Systems is the only one to decide who gets access to the data stored in the new datacenters and who doesn’t. This means that Microsoft itself won’t have any access to the data. Continue reading

Microsoft and Docker announce new innovations for Azure IaaS

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Around one year ago Microsoft and Docker started a great partnership meant to continuously innovate and bring new cool features to Azure IaaS that enable organizations around the world to build their next generation cross platform apps. Trying to enumerate all the new features brought to Microsoft Azure in partnership with Docker is not easy at all, but some of them include Windows Server Containers, Hyper-V Containers, Docker VM Extensions for Linux on Azure, Docker CLI support on Windows, Compose and Swarm support on Azure, Visual Studio Tooling for Docker.

These days at the the DockerCon North America Microsoft and Docker announced and demonstrated some new features and updates that take the partnership to a next step.  Continue reading

Fixes in Azure AD Sync Build 1.0.494.0501

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Azure AD Sync Build 1.0.494.0501 was released some time ago and in my opinion it brought a fix for a major problem I was seeing in a lot of cases and that is failing of password writeback with servicebus connectivity error.

I still see a lot of partners struggling with this type of error messages at their end customers and I advised all of them to install the new build. This solved this error in all of the cases.

However, be aware that Azure AD Sync build  1.0.494.0501 now requires the .Net Framework version 4.5.1 to be installed. So if you don’t have this .NET version currently installed on your server, you may want to install it before installing the new Azure AD Sync Build.  Continue reading

Fotbal in cloud! Shakhtar Donetsk mizeaza pe Office 365

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In contextul unei situatii politico-militare din estul Ucrainei, administratorii echipei de fotbal Shakhtar Donetsk mizeaza pe cloud si Office 365. Astfel clubul isi poate continua activitatea, fara riscul de a putea pierde oricand toate datele.

Situatia actuala din estul Ucrainei i-a fortat pe reprezentantii echipei Shakhtar Donetsk sa mute echipa. Din diferite motive, tot clubul a fost mutat practic in trei orase diferite. Echipa in sine a fost mutata la Kiev, academia de copii si juniori la Poltava, iar prima echipa a clubului isi joaca meciurile la Lviv. In acest context, necesitatea unei infrastructuri care sa poate fi folosita in mod remote a devenit extrem de pregnanta. “Pe langa personalul ce se ocupa direct de echipa de fotbal, mai avem inca 30 de angajati. Necesitatea ca ei sa poata colabora in timp reala este vitala pentru noi“, explicat Dmytro Teplyakov, CIO al echipei de fotbal Shakhtar Donetsk.  Continue reading

Microsoft Azure RemoteApp iese din beta pe 11 decembrie

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Serviciul cloud Microsoft Azure RemoteApp va iesi din stadiul de “beta” pe data de 11 decembrie 2014 si va fi disponibili pentru toate organizatiile care folosesc deja Microsoft Azure. Cei care au testat varianta beta pana acum, vor putea observa ca serviciul lor va fi actualizat automat si vor primi o licenta trial valabila pentru 30 de zile.

Azure RemoteApp este serviciul perfect pentru organizatiile in care forta de lucru fluctueaza foarte mult, dar utilizatorii au nevoie totusi de acces la aplicatiile de business pe care organizatia le foloseste. Practic aplicatiile vor putea fi rulate virtualizat pe toate device-urile. Chiar daca ele vor rula pe serverele din data center, utilizatorii vor avea aceeasi experienta ca si cum acestea ar fi instalate direct pe device-ul pe care il folosesc. Aplicatiile vor fi accesate prin Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol.  Continue reading

Azure Load Balancer, un nou mod de distributie a traficului

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Azure Load Balancer este un load balancer de layer 4 (TCP si UDP) care distribuie traficul catre instante functionale ale serviciului de cloud sau catre masini virtuale gazduite pe Azure si configurate intr-un load balancer set. Pentru cei mai putin familiariati cu retelistica, conform modelului OSI, layer 4 este layer-ul de transport, care ofera instrumente functionale si procedurale pentru transferul secventelor de date de la un emitator la un receptor.

Pana de curand, acest Azure Load Balancer folosea un algoritm ce continea 5 elmente fundamentale: IP-ul sursa, portul sursa, IP-ul de destinatie, portul de destinatie si protocolul folosit. Acest model avea anumite neajunsuri, in sensul ca daca se aplicatia din spate initia o sesiune noua, traficul era redirectionat, cel mai probabil, catre alta instanta decat cea folosita initial.  Continue reading

Microsoft Cloud poate duce PR-ul la un alt nivel

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Imi place sa cred ca sunt o fire destul de comunicativa. Drept consecinta, una dintre pasiunile mele este si PR-ul, domeniu in care am si activat vremelnic. Dat fiind faptul ca lucrez de ceva vreme in domeniul tehnic si fac consultanta mai ales pe partea de cloud si integrarea cloud-ului cu infrastructurile locale, am ajuns sa inteleg destul de bine cam ce se poate face cu serviciile din Microsoft cloud si cum pot fi folosite  pentru imbunatatirea diferitelor segmente de activitate dintr-o companie. Punand cap la cap toate informatiile mi-am dat seama ca serviciile cloud oferite de Microsoft pot duce PR-ul la un alt nivel.

Cred ca in toate domeniile de activitate, dar poate cu prisosinta in PR, oamenii trebuie sa fie deschisi la inovatie si sa poata descoperi si folosi instrumente noi de comunicare inainte ca acestea sa fie mentionate in manualele de specialitate. A tine pasul cu tehnologia in PR este un “must”. Si din punctul meu de vedere, cred ca va veni o vreme in care succesul oamenilor de PR va depinde de modul in care ei vor stii sa se adapteze la cloud. Continue reading

Microsoft, rezultate financiare peste estimarile analistilor in ultimul trimestru

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Rezultatele financiare ale Microsoft pe trimestrul care s-a incheiat la 30 septembrie arata foarte bine si sunt peste estimarile analistilor financiari, conform publicatiei Bloomberg. Eforturile sustinute ale lui Satya Nadella, noul CEO al Microsoft incepand cu luna februarie, de a revitaliza compania se pare ca dau roade.

Conform informatiilor oferite de Bloomberg se pare ca vectorii rezultatelor financiare foarte bune sunt cresterea vanzarilor pe piata PC-urilor, terminalele Windows Phone, platformele cloud Azure si Office 365 si, in general, serviciile de tip cloud pe care Microsoft le ofera. Astfel, incasarile totale ale Microsoft pe trimestrul trecut se ridica la 23,2 miliarde de dolari, in timp ce analistii prevedeau incasari de 22 miliarde. In procente, aceasta suma inseamna o crestere de aproape 25% procente fata de incasarile din aceeasi perioada a anului trecut.  Continue reading